STAND UP AND DANCE

I am a wounded healer who dances with a slight limp

For a month in 1623, John Donne and his doctors believed he was suffering (and likely dying) from the bubonic plague. Donne was able to do little more than write, which he did—journaling a series of meditations on his wrestling with God. He titled his work “Devotions”.

THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL

On reading “Devotions”, author Phillip Yancey reflected on his own season of weariness and wrote the book “Undone”. Yancey notes: “A measure of shame seems to accompany disability or illness. Donne experienced and wrote about such shame. My journaling expressed my own deep shame, a shame rooted in my belief that I was now weak, flawed, and a failure. This dark hovering cloud of shame is an innate shame in inconveniencing others for something that is neither your fault nor your desire.  Together, depression and anxiety are a two-headed monster. When depression, anxiety, and shame link arms, the days are a downward spiral.” 

DEPRESSION WANTS TO STAY

“Depression has a way of sitting down heavily on your back. It plans to stay a while.” (Ramon Presson)

A SEASON OF PURPOSE

It is easy to disregard a season of depression as being without purpose.  However, the Apostle Paul thought differently: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Cor 1:3-4).  

DANCE WITH A LIMP

I love the challenge of Henri Nouwen. He calls us to become “wounded healers“. He pronounces: “And if I am a wounded healer, who having fiercely wrestled with God, now dance with a slight limp, then so be it.”

Stand up and dance, no matter your season of unbalance.

MY REPAIR SHOP

God pulls me out of myself, my own worries and upheavals into the Universe where He rules.  God speaks to me the best when I shut up and listen.

I am addicted to a British TV show called “The Repair Shop”. The show’s premise is that everyday people bring in family heirlooms which are then repaired and resuscitated for their owners by experts with a broad range of specialties. No one is charged for the work and people are jubilant to see previous pieces which have been mangled over the years, restored to beauty. I love to see beauty brought out of brokenness.

MY SOUL’S REPAIR SHOP

In my living room exists my own unique repair shop. In a corner sits a recliner which is not a family heirloom. It was a Costco special. Next to it is an adjacent couch, also not an heirloom. What makes the recliner special is its daily use.  I sit there and picture Jesus on the adjacent couch. The regular conversations that take place at my recliner have been golden. Beauty is created from brokenness.

THE TOOLS

To the left of my recliner are the tools:

  • My journal
  • Prayer Point” (a Bible reading guide published by Samaritan’s Purse)
  • Open Doors World Watch List 2024 (the top 50 countries I need to be praying for regarding persecution)
  • Valley of Vision” – a collection of Puritan prayers that are a great jumpstart for the days when I feel my prayers are rather dusty.

THE MOST VALUABLE TOOL

But the most valuable tool is my battered and marked up Bible.  I’ve run a lot of miles with it; written notes upon notes in the margins regarding things God has pointed out to me when I’m reading it. 

THE QUIET OF THE SHOP

I’m one of those people who need to have relative quiet while I’m at the shop. Total concentration is necessary. It’s not all about me. God voice needs to be clearly heard. Some days it is difficult when I’m wandering through Leviticus – it may seem dry as dirt (often a match for my soul).

God pulls me out of myself, my own worries and upheavals into the Universe where He rules.  God speaks to me the best when I shut up and listen. 

THE PLACE WHERE YOU MEET GOD

If you are already a believer (you have trusted Jesus Christ alone to make your life new) then having a Soul Repair Shop is one of the best things you can do. Your shop may look different than mine – better furniture, location, or it may even take place in a parked car.  Wherever, this is the place you meet God and implore Him to do His work. 

VISITING THE SHOP CAN BE PAINFUL

Just a warning, work in the Repair Shop can be a little painful. There have been numerous times where God has told me in no uncertain terms to repent, to eat humble pie, and to let go of prized projects. I have to keep remembering that He is the restoration expert, not me.

For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.  And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.(Hebrews 4:12-13)

KEEP THAT DAILY APPOINTMENT

Except for the Word of God, the tools God uses in your Repair Shop may be a little different, but the main thing is to consistently permit Him to do His work.  That’s why it is vital to keep that daily appointment.  Do you want your broken parts made beautiful? Is it possible for God to make you clean?  Perhaps you also need to get addicted to “The Repair Shop”, but not the BBC version – God’s version.